Foreword Reviews

Inside the May/June 2022 issue

Foreword Reviews March/April 2022 issue front cover

Adaptions and Distractions

In one of the books featured in our upcoming issue, an immigrant who’s missing home opens an old suitcase, finds a discarded recipe, and is transported back to her childhood community. It’s a poignant moment in a story that’s ostensibly about soup—one that we selected for both its relatability (who doesn’t resist a family dish, only to crave it in a bone-deep way later?), and for the magic of its illustrations.

I Hate Borsch! cover
Editors are adaptive; we observe, move with, and sometimes push against cultural trends. But we are not necessarily prescient. When we selected I Hate Borsch! and other books in this issue, we did not know that some would take on new meanings following the advent of an invasion and a war.

Troubled Water cover
Yevgenia Nayberg’s picture book, you see, is about sensory memory and family, but it’s also a decidedly Ukrainian tale. And it’s not the only in our issue: in Going to Beautiful, a mourning chef makes his way to his departed husband’s hometown, where he’s embraced by a warm Ukrainian community whose welcoming attitudes, and whose food, help to heal him. And the travelogue Troubled Water dances across the shores of the Black Sea, noting that each nation along it is “a mosaic of ethnicities, histories, and cultures who have rubbed up against each other for thousands of years.” These books are celebrations of proud, storied cultures—and reminders of what’s at stake when tyrants and invaders go unchecked.

In these troubled days, when we’re all looking for ways to support people worlds away who are facing unimaginable difficulties, I think there’s something valuable about taking the time to elevate a story or two, too. We happened upon three that are immersed in Ukrainian culture this issue; we know there are infinitely more. We hope you find solace, and something worth fighting for, in their pages.

Michelle Anne Schingler
Editor in Chief

Image above from Scary Fairy in Wicked Wood by Jana Bauer, Caroline Thaw (Illustrator), David Limon (Translator). Used with permission from Kind World Publishing.

Michelle Anne Schingler

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